RPE Face Fit Solutions provide a Qualitative and Quantitavive Face Fit Testing service and only use individuals who are fully trained and "fit2fit" accredited. However, if you wish to carry out Qualitative Face Fit Testing in-house we can deliver a course to enable your employees to complete and record the required information as per HSE INDG 479 .
Why are there two types of Fit Testing and which is best for me?
The two most commonly used methods are: Qualitative (QLFT) and Quantitative (QNFT):
QLFT uses an aerosol of either a bitter tasting substance (Bitrex) or a sweet substance (Saccharine) to challenge the face seal whilst the wearer undertakes 7 exercises (in a hood to contain the test substance). If after the 7 exercises (7 minutes), the candidate has not detected (tasted) the test substance, then that is regarded as a pass and a fit factor of 100 is assigned. (NB it is part of the protocol that at the end of the test, the candidate is required to break the seal to demonstrate how effective the seal has been).
QNFT is a much more exact method and uses a Portacount particle counting device. This device counts the particles inside the candidate’s respirator and compares the levels to the ambient atmosphere. At the end of each of the 7 exercises (conducted whilst the candidate is walking on a treadmill or using a stepper) a calculation is made as to whether the Fit Factor is adequate before the candidate moves on to the next exercise.
So, which method of Fit Testing is best for me?
Full Face pieces can only be tested using the Quantitative method, other than that it is best to discuss with the Fit Tester what is most suited to your particular needs e.g. location, availability of power, adequate venue, and time: Qualitative Face Fit Testing organised properly can be quicker and cause less downtime.